California Gov. Jerry Brown Obliterates Republican Economic Propaganda with One Stat

As we all know, essentially the entire Republican economic philosophy is based upon deregulation and tax cuts. It’s an interesting stance considering Republicans have finally admitted that over the last 40 years income inequality has become a major problem. Of course, those years just so happen to coincide with “trickle-down” economics, otherwise known as the promise that tax cuts for the rich will benefit all of us. Each and every time a Republican admits that income inequality has been a problem over the last 40 or so years, all they’re really doing is admitting that trickle-down economics has been an absolute failure.



But the truth of the matter is, you really have to be naive or brainwashed to believe that cutting taxes for the rich will benefit the rest of us. Since the dawn of this failed economic philosophy all that’s happened is the rich have gotten richer, the middle class has fallen further and further behind and our national debt has ballooned to over $18 trillion and growing. The only ones who’ve benefited from this con have been the wealthy.

Even with those facts being indisputable, to listen to Republicans talk about any sort of tax hikes or regulation you’d think it was going to lead to a complete collapse of our economy and the elimination of millions of jobs.

That’s nonsense. In fact, California Governor Jerry Brown just obliterated Republican economic talking points during his state’s State of the State Address when he boasted about the fact that California has created two million new jobs since 2011 – despite fairly substantial tax hikes.

Oh, and by the way, the state also has a huge budget surplus.

As Politifact found:

Experts we spoke with said this is a ‘net job creation’ total. And because many jobs were also lost during this period, the gross number of positions created would have been well over two million.

“I believe the governor is correct,” Adibi told us. “The economy actually has done pretty good during his leadership.”

For some perspective, the two million jobs created in California accounts for about one-sixth of the nation’s net 12.4 million jobs added during the same period, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics.

It’s also roughly 600,000 more jobs than Texas added during the same period, the federal labor data show. Texas officials, including former Gov. Rick Perry, have made repeated efforts to siphon jobs away from the Golden State.

The last part I absolutely loved considering Republicans in Texas frequently claim that the low taxes and fewer regulations make Texas a better place to do business. California has actually created 600,000 more jobs than the Lone Star State since 2011.



To put this in another way, since 2011, California:

  • Raised taxes on the rich fairly substantially.
  • Still maintains an eco-friendly state with fairly strict regulations.
  • Balanced their budget and created a huge surplus.
  • Created 2 million jobs, 600,000 more than “low-tax, business friendly” Texas.

Basically California, on the heels of the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, did the exact opposite of everything Republicans say a government must do in order to grow an economy and balance a budget – and have seen enormous economic success since doing so to the tune of one-sixth of the entire country’s job creation since 2011 and a huge budget surplus.

In other words, Governor Jerry Brown did nearly everything that the GOP says will wreck an economy and bloat a deficit… and proved that Republicans are full of crap.




Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Leah Schultz

    Here’s another example”

    Let’s compare WI under Walker and MN under Dayton since both took
    office and see what is working. Both states switched leadership
    and legislatures then. In MN Dayton inherited $5.9 billion deficit
    (Walker half that) MN had a $1.9 billion surplus going into new
    budget, Walker a similar deficit. Since Feb 2010 MN added 197,000
    private sector jobs (with a tax increase on higher incomes and an
    increase in minimum wage(supposedly real job killers) WI 167,000.
    Walker promised to add 250,000 in his first term. MN made up
    payments to k-12 schools of
    over a billion dollars (payments that republicans had delayed)
    and increased educational spending at all levels including
    financing all day kindergarten. Walker cutting funding for
    education including proposing $300 million cut to U of WI
    and asking them to freeze tuition on top of it. Last thing
    republicans want is an educated electorate. Only effect of RTW
    is RTW for less pay and benefits. Trickle down
    has never worked. Quite evident what is working and what is not.
    Another thing Republicans here in MN keep saying our taxes drive
    business away. MN has jumped up to 9th on Forbes rankings of best
    states to do business in. Forbes also ranked MN 7th in economic
    climate, and 2nd in quality of life. CNBC just ranked MN the top
    state for business.

    Don’t think the comparison to MN is valid?

    Walker’s “accomplishments” in Wisconsin (from NON-liberal sources):
    49th in Economic Outlook – Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
    49th in Job Growth through 2016 – Forbes Magazine
    45th in the Nation in Wage Growth – Bureau of Labor Statistics
    44th in the Nation in Job Growth – Bureau of Labor Statistics
    42nd Best State for Business – Forbes magazine

    • Jim Valley

      The republicans turn everything they touch into crap. They are King Midas in reverse.

  • bubs

    So when will the national Dems actually balance the budget?

    • bjtwuk

      Obama cut the deficit that he inherited from George W Bush by two-thirds. It is hard for the National Democrats to completely eliminate the deficit (i.e., balance the budget) when the Republicans control both houses of congress. Perhaps you should ask when the Republicans will balance the budget since they must write the bills.

      • bubs

        ha ha, no budget bill has been passed since 2011. it’s all continuing resolutions. Nice that you won’t hold your beloved dem party accountable

      • bjtwuk

        I’m having difficulty understanding your comment. Article I, Section 7 of the United States Constitution states “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives”. The Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2011. If a budget could not be passed since 2011, then wouldn’t it be necessary to hold the Republicans accountable?

      • bubs

        ok, you haven’t a clue.

      • bjtwuk

        You’re welcome to explain it. I’m not stopping you. The house and senate are controlled by the Republicans, but you said that no budget has been passed. Let them pass a budget. Or you may explain why they have not been able to do so.

      • bubs

        i don’t talk to people i don’t know on the internet. i think you’re someone that isn’t interested in learning.

      • bjtwuk

        I was not asking you to privately chat with me. I was just asking you to explain and clarify the point that you were trying to make.

      • bubs

        why? you seem to be a know it all.

      • bjtwuk

        I’m not trying to argue with you. I stated that Obama reduced the deficit by two thirds. I placed responsibility for not being able to finish the job on the shoulders of the party that controls both houses of congress, which is the Republican party. Then, rather than state how my position was incorrect you made an ad hominem attack at me by saying that I had no clue. I was polite and asked you to explain why you felt that I was wrong, but you’ve thus far refused to do so. You just continued responding with more ad hominem attacks. To answer your question, I would like you to explain your position because contrary to your preconceived notion, I actually am someone who is interested in learning.

      • Jay Silla

        Obama reduced nothing. A Republican controlled Congress reduced the deficit created by by a Democrat controlled Congress. (Democrats ran the House, 2006 – 2010) While Harry Reid ran the Senate, he refused to take up any budget bills, virtually forcing continuing resolutions, that locked in increases to already bloated spending, courtesy of baseline budgeting formulas. The spending SINCE Reid lost the majority, you can blame on the Republicans.

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        Please tell me the record of the GOP when they had total control from 2001-2007. Do you have any idea? How much did they “reduce the deficit” with total control? How much has any republican ever reduced the deficit? Who was the last Republican President to balance a budget or reduce the deficit?

      • Zot Reneek

        oh oh, I know the answer!
        NO Republican administration has EVER reduced the size of the national budget, much less balance it. What do I win?

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        Actually Eisenhower did, but he was also not a fan of Republican party economic dogma.

      • Sorry, sir, despite your good intentions and admirable restraint and reasonableness, you seem to have encountered a troll.

      • bjtwuk

        Believe it or not, I knew that from the outset. I just wanted to give him a chance to prove it.

      • Jim Valley

        These guys are as useless as any other right-wingers. You are wasting your time with your logic and facts. They are immune. You will “learn” nothing from them.

      • PRIME79

        You’re adorable.

      • john brothers

        Obama has vetoed anything out of Congress that’s not in his agenda!

      • Phenoy

        How can he NOT veto when everything that came out of Congress is attached with Republican crap that’s not even related to the bill?

      • john brothers

        seriously? Read the bills!

      • Phenoy

        The Bills are fine WITHOUT the crap the Republicans attach to it.

      • Penni

        did you se what those m. f. did to the zika bill? everyone of those ding ding r’s added their discrimination or hateful rider on it. It was crazy stupid even for R’s

      • Katie B

        Republicans are never to be held accountable for anything, don’t you know that?

      • john brothers

        you mean Liberals; right!

      • john brothers

        Barf, barf! The REpublicans caved and signed Barry’s Omnibus 2 trillion Christmas into law. The Democrats just voted down the Bill last week from the Reps.Obama had a majority Congress first 3 yrs. in office. Debt rising and wages stagnant. Health care going thru the roof!

      • strayaway

        The federal debt is the accumulation of annual deficits. Bush increased the federal debt by about $5T to about $10T. Obama, with a year left has already raised the federal debt by $9T. That’s to say that Obama’s collective deficits have already almost equaled those accumulated by every president since George Washington.

      • T Saint

        bjtwuk really? what planet are you on.

      • bjtwuk

        I’m from the third planet from the Sun. We call our planet “Earth”. If you would like to have an intelligent discussion, rather than make an ad hominem insinuation, please feel free to clearly state what was factually incorrect about my comment and then provide your own factual comments to counter me. Thank you.

      • T Saint

        Explain to me how the National debt went from 9 trillion under Bush to 19 trillion under Obama. Because according to you Obama has cut it two thirds. That doesn’t add up to the math I learned in school. So I have to wonder what planet. As to the GOP balancing the budget, that’s funny, every time they try to at least get it under control Obama wants to spend more money.

      • bjtwuk

        You apparently don’t understand the difference between “debt” and “deficit”. I said that Obama cut the “deficit” by 2/3. When Obama took office in 2009, the deficit was $1.4 trillion. Obama has reduced the deficit to $492 billion. Therefore, under George W Bush, the national debt was growing at a rate of $1.4 trillion each year. Under Obama, the national debt is growing at a rate of $459 billion per year. In order to actually reduce the debt, Obama would have to reduce the deficit by another $459 billion per year. To use an analogy, you cannot turn giant ship around on a dime. There have to be spending cuts and revenue increases to do it. Revenue increases can only come from the House of Representatives, per the US Constitution. The House is under the control of the Republicans. Under George W Bush, taxes on the very rich were drastically cut. The Republican House refuses to restore the tax rates that the rich used to pay, which makes it impossible for Obama to eliminate the deficit, and therefore the national debt continues to grow. I hope that explains it for you.

      • T Saint

        Thanks, I didn’t really catch the word deficit at first my bad.My brain is stuck on debt. But your explanation was excellent. I did do some research on debt versus deficit in the past and you actually explained it better than those who have sites that explain it. Sorry about the planet thing. I did see that the deficit was as followsFederal Deficits were declining in the mid 2000s as the nation climbed out of the 2000-02 recession. But the recession that started late in 2006 drove deficits higher, with a deficit in 2009 driven up by over $700 billion in bank bailouts under the TARP program.
        After the Crash of 2008 the federal deficits did not go below $1 trillion until FY2013.

      • T Saint

        I also wanted to state that as far as Congress, they have a tough job trying to make things work. Am personally not persuaded that taxes is the answer as much as getting wasteful spending under control. This paragraph says it better than I can. . The Congress faces an array of policy choices as it confronts the prospect of large annual budget deficits and further increases in the already-large government debt that are projected to occur in coming decades under current law. To help inform lawmakers about the budgetary implications of changing federal policies, CBO periodically issues volumes of policy options and their effects on the federal budget, of which this is the most recent. The agency also issues separate reports that present policy options in particular areas. The Website itself has some great info on what Congress is doing to come up with a budget that will help effect the debt thereby the deficit. https : // www. cbo.gov/budget-options/2014

    • Phenoy

      As a side note, the last Republican to balance the budget was Eisenhower and he did it in a time when taxes for the top 2% wealthiest Americans was more than 80% and he had a massive spending project called the interstate highway system.

      • Katie B

        That’s understating the case, at that time the top tax bracket was 91%. NINETY ONE PERCENT.

        A billion dollars is more money than any person can spend in a lifetime. J.K. Rowling had over $1 billion in her personal fortune, that she set up a massive charity to give away. She was intentionally giving away a massive portion of her fortune for many years and she still has about the same amount of money she started with. Fortunes that size are self-perpetuating.

    • Jim Valley

      Please. Stop.

      • bubs

        stop what?

    • BobJThompson

      When the wealthy pay all of the taxes they are supposed to be paying.

    • John Baker

      When we get the Republicans out of Congress. Next question…

      • bubs

        didn’t happen in 2009-2010. dems never met a dollar they didn’t want to spend

  • Jim Valley

    The comparison between California and republican-run states, with California doing MUCH better, reminds me of the comparison between Scott Walker’s wretchedly republican Wisconsin and its similar but Democratic-run neighbor Minnesota. Minnesota is doing MUCH better.

    Statistics show that everyone in America, including the rich, do better under a Democratic president. Please remind me why ANYONE would vote for a republican, for any office.

  • strayaway

    California “is the home to more super rich than anywhere else in the country – and it also exhibits the highest poverty rate in the nation, when cost of living is taken into account. Income disparities in the state of California are among the highest in the nation, outpacing such places as Georgia and Mississippi in terms of the Gini coefficient, a standard measure of inequality.” (-Huffington Post 2/15) California has the third worst high school graduation rate of all states. California public schools score among the lowest in the nation. Its 5.8% unemployment rate (12/15) is 16% higher than the US official national unemployment rate of 5%. California’s tax and regulatory environment chase manufacturing and corporate offices out of state. Texas benefits from this more than any other state. Its sales tax is the highest in the nation and its overall taxes are the third worst in the nation. California has 4,411,000 food stamp recipients and a $425B debt equalling $10,909 per individual. Its debt to GDP ratio is 17.4% and it spends $27B/year more than it takes in revenue. All this under Jerry Brown.

    What California does have going for it include a benign climate, beaches, and its location on the Pacific rim. As more manufacturing is chased out of the US to Asia, California became the distribution center for importing Asian goods to other states. Silicon Valley is still the IT magnet and epicenter. It’s location, location, location but not so much Jerry Brown.